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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 25, 2011 6:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

I didn’t realize that the GD never did Bobby McGee until right after Janis’s death. It makes sense, but it never occurred to me to check before all the Winehouse news. According to Deadbase, the first Bobby McGee was 11/29/70. Janis had died about six weeks earlier.

Anyway, that’s not what this is about. The question just happened to come to me as I was listening to the Bobby McGee during this wonderful show a year later, 11/7/71, which I put on apropos of nothing in particular except that it starts with Truckin (which came up in a thread earlier). How could I have forgotten how fantastic this show is?!?

I’m really enjoying it. It has that full-on "double lead" effect, with Phil thumping away like some brilliant energizer bunny ... the guy doesn’t let up for a minute, and here it is 40 years later and he’s still going strong ... Unbelievable.

So if you’re looking to refresh your energies, consider a ride back to a hometown show in happy uncomplicated (ha ha) 1971 ... Btw this is the show right after DP2.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1971-11-07.sbd.lai.2580.shnf

Incidentally, the first-ever Bobby McGee in memory of Janis seems to have been at the Agora in Columbus during this show, which I haven’t heard. Interesting story in the reviews from a guy saying he was the promoter:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-11-29.aud.hanno.7592.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: Lum Edwards Date: Jul 25, 2011 9:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

I have 21 shows on cd. This one was my third. The MAMU is tremendous and is guaranteed a spot on my dream concert i hope to make someday of my favorite versions of songs across the decades.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jul 25, 2011 7:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Pearl was not released until early 1971. I wonder if she was performing the song before that or if she had been playing around with it during Festival Express.

The other show that always comes to mind when thinking about Janis and the Grateful Dead, is the one they played the day she died. A really upbeat show which has lead some to speculate that they could not have known what had happened.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-10-04.sbd.cousinit.19985.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 25, 2011 8:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

I did not know that! I remember Bobby McGee being on the radio, and it was so powerfully evocative to me as a kid. I just assumed Janis was still around when it was a hit.

So, then, it's possible that the band starting doing it as a way to remember her ... or maybe not. Well, obviously it became associated with her very quickly and would have brought up thoughts of Janis. But whether they initially did it because of her would hinge, I guess, on how much she used to play it pre-Pearl.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jul 26, 2011 4:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

based on this always reliable source of information, it would appear that Bob was probably not playing this initially as a tribute to Joplin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_and_Bobby_McGee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_(album)

It sounds like she was playing some of the Pearl songs during Festival Express but it is not clear that she was playing that one and given Bob's love of country tunes, particularly during that time, it was probably Miller's or Kristofferson's that provided the original inspiration. However I think you are probably correct that it morphed into a bit of a Janis tribute by 1971.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 26, 2011 4:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Well, Wikipedia may not be definitive, but I love this little tidbit: The song displaced as Number One by Bobby McGee was One Bad Apple by the Osmond Bros. Geez louise. I remember that one, too. I'm proud to say I preferred Bobby McGee to One Bad Apple even at age 10!

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 26, 2011 5:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

I think I managed to get it straight in my head that Crazy Horses had nothing to do with the band Neil Young sometimes played with.

Mind you, the Lawnmower Deth version of that song is much superior...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfYMiRwClQg

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 26, 2011 6:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Oh my lord. I am also proud to say that I do not, in fact, remember the Osmonds' song Crazy Horses, and didn't even know there was such an album. Phew! Only so much space in the memory banks, after all ...

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jul 25, 2011 10:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71


Yeah, I don't know the specifics, but I know Janis' Bobby McGee was released posthumously, which is perhaps the initial influence for Tupac's 50 or so albums that have come out since he died.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jul 25, 2011 8:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Yum! I just love that Harding Theatre show, and I like to see Bobby McGee given a shout-out every once in a while. Nice Other One sandwich!

Funny how they were using two different "Me and.." songs during that period as the middle (I hesitate to say "meat") of the Other One sandwiches at the end of '71. I sort of wonder if Bobby called for MAMU and someone simply mis-heard it as Bobby McGee and went with it.

But I, for one, love it when BM shows up in unexpected places. The Baltimore Civic Cntr show from 3/26/73 is a perfect example, where it emerges beautifully in a not-really transition out of Wharf Rat to end a spectacular run of..

He's Gone> Truckin> Wheather Report Prelude> Jam> Wharf> Bobby McGee

Sweet jamming all the way through from Garcia, and a great show all-around.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-03-26.sbd.miller.34787.sbeok.flac16

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Poster: jgmf Date: Jul 25, 2011 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

I also have big love for 11/7/71 Harding Theater.

Also, on Bobby McGee, note that the New Riders had been doing it quite awhile before Janis died, e.g., 7/30/70: http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2011/04/nrps-matrix-1970-05-of-7-ln19700730.html

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Poster: jgmf Date: Jul 25, 2011 8:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Sorry for link spam, but there's also a lot of discussion of 11/7/71 by LIA, cyptdev, Corry Arnold and others, lots of color around that show, at http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2011/03/gd19710903-4-harding-theater-sf-ca.html.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jul 25, 2011 9:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Speaking of 11/29/70 - Columbus

A review I wrote a while back. An historic show at an historic venue in Columbus. AMAZING version of Good Lovin' at this show. Also, from what I gather, this is the second-ever Other One> MAMU.

11-29-70 - Club Agora, Columbus, Oh.

Don't Ease Me In, Cumberland Blues, Beat It On Down The Line, Next Time You See Me, Morning Dew, Brokedown, Truckin'-> Drums-> The Other One-> Me & My Uncle, Casey Jones, Dire Wolf, Me And Bobby McGee, Brokedown Palace, Good Lovin, Sugar Mag, Tuning jams, NFA> GDTRFB> NFA
also: NRPS

Source: http://www.archive.org/details/gd70-11-29.aud.hanno.7592.sbeok.shnf

The quality of this AUD is pretty awful. It sounds like it was recorded by someone who had a tape recorder in his coat pocket. Still, I’m glad he was there and that somebody documented this show, because it’s really good. The beginnings of some songs are clipped because he obviously stopped the tape to save room. Once you adjust to the way the AUD sounds, it actually feels kind of intimate – like you’re way in the back of the room at a bar with bad sound. There’s a bit of chatter from the audience, and a couple times where someone sings along, but if you can hack it, there are some pretty worthwhile tracks on here, and the Dead was playing very well at the end of 1970.

The Dew is phenomenal. Also has a fantastic Truckin> TOO> MAMU sequence (clipped at the beginning, I’m afraid) and a very nice Casey Jones as well. The first (?) version of Me and Bobby McGee kind of falls flat. Janis Joplin died on 10/4/70. I was never really clear on whether this song was played as a tribute to her or not.

But it’s at the back end where this show really shines. Good Lovin is off-the-charts good. The rapping is strong, and the jamming is tight and fresh, with a real groovy vibe and a big drum and bass crescendo before the final verse.

Sugar mag is short and all candy sweet. They are obviously having tons of fun, and Jerry is particularly spritely on this night. NFA clips at the end.

Highlights: Many, but especially Morning Dew, Other One, and Good Lovin

This post was modified by snow_and_rain on 2011-07-25 16:20:31

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 25, 2011 9:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Speaking of 11/29/70 - Columbus

11/7/71 is a nice glimpse of the band in transition on a vibrant night,they sound so energized.The versions of Comes a Time and Brokedown Palace,while a little ragged are just beautiful,sung with great care and feeling,and the addition of Keith's piano on these ballads is the cherry on top.As Cliff mentions in his review the NFA-> Goin' Down-> NFA is in the all-time category.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 26, 2011 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Speaking of 11/29/70 - Columbus

Completely agree. I love the simplicity and purity of those early Comes a Times, and that one is really moving. So is Brokedown ... just beautiful.

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Jul 25, 2011 8:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Me And Bobby McGee was written by Kris Kristofferson.
the GD where going in the country roots at the time.
they didn't do it for janis.roger miller covered it first
followed by a bunch others before janis did it.the GD
probaby started working on it after hearing Ramblin' Jack Elliott version who they where a big fan of.Bird Song was
for janis.

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Poster: sambonk2 Date: Jul 25, 2011 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

yep....And Birdsong was Garcias nod to Janis as well

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Poster: WillCo Date: Jul 26, 2011 3:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

This revealing passage from Festival Express comes to mind, where Jerry declares his love for Janis, she laughs her head off, he retreats to his guitar. Sigh.

It's at about the 4:02 mark in this clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_dkavLVcN0

This post was modified by WillCo on 2011-07-26 21:57:36

This post was modified by WillCo on 2011-07-26 21:59:40

This post was modified by WillCo on 2011-07-26 22:00:14

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 25, 2011 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Great show indeed. I don't listen to much 71 in comparison to the surrounding years, but the fall tour with Keith has a lot of excellent shows. Speaking of Keith, does anyone else notice his piano sounds really tinny on this recording?

I especially love the way Phil is the leader for the first section of the Dark Star, Jerry seems to be hanging back and just playing off Phil's "leads".

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Jul 25, 2011 12:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Have always loved this show - the playing, the banter and energy is great.

"Speaking of Keith, does anyone else notice his piano sounds really tinny on this recording? I've always hated the sound of that type of piano pickup (no matter who was using it from McCoy Tyner and Pinetop Perkins to Keith) - the louder you raise the volume, the tinnier it sounds. I'm sure, adding an acoustic grand piano to the live mix was a great challenge. With the band playing as loud as they did, microphones would have been picking up all of that ambient stage sound as well as trying to reinforce the sound of the piano. I remember seeing them using both mics and the pickup together, in an attempt to elevate the sound of that acoustic instrument with all of its timbre, to the level of rest of the band with their amps, drums, and mighty sound. You can hear this tinny pickup sound on several recordings during Keith's first year with differing levels of success .

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 25, 2011 12:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

Yeah, trying to use pickups on an acoustic piano has always sounded terrible to me, too, and the problem of isolating microphones from stage noise is huge.

At some point I'm hoping to write up a long-form post about the tremendous difficulties integrating keyboard instruments into live rock and roll. I have plenty of personal experience and frustration in that area, and the keyboard seat in the Grateful Dead in particular is notorious for being problematic.

There are a lot of devoted GD fans who think that only from 72-74 was the keyboard slot actually adding to the music - I don't take it to that extreme, since I love a lot of Brent's playing, but I definitely hear the "issues" that people have.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jul 25, 2011 11:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

A minor correction:
The next show after DP2 was actually 11/6/71, also at the Harding Theater:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd71-11-06.sbd.lai.6253.sbefail.shnf

This show is much less reviewed or listened to than the following night. (I think the mix is cleaner - 11/7 sounds more "wet", with everything a bit louder.)
But 11/6, while not as energetic, is no slouch. Check out at least the opening Bertha - Jerry gets so into it, he goes into a long SECOND solo when the band's about to finish the song!

Interestingly, Keith's piano also has that distant, tinny sound, which gives it that rinky-tink barroom-piano vibe. (Other reviewers complain of distortion, but that doesn't bother me.) Perhaps the sound crew had a particular problem at the Harding Theater, since I don't remember that issue being so pronounced at other shows on the tour (at least when Keith's mixed up enough to hear).
On the other hand, remember that Dan Healy went to see the Dead at one of the Felt Forum shows in December '71 and said, "The setup was terrible, the sound was terrible, the whole production was muddy..." So in an effort to rescue their sound-mixing, he went back to work for them. So at least one knowledgeable inside person thought the Dead's stage sound sucked at the time....
On the first song of set II here, Ramble On Rose, the Dead have to stop for a bit because the piano is feeding back, and Jerry apologizes: "We're gonna work this piano thing out.")

The Other One is a nice varied version - not as urgent as on 11/7, and perhaps not one of the strongest of this tour, but it goes into a Cryptical reprise, one of only five versions on the tour to do so. (They got tired of Cryptical in mid-November, and usually segued into Wharf Rat thereafter - you can tell they're a little unenthusiastic about this one.) Anyway, this Cryptical segues into Comes a Time - the band thinks Jerry's doing Wharf Rat, but he signals Comes a Time - the ONLY time it came out of the Other One suite in '71. (And it would only happen three times in '72.)
The NFA isn't close to the one on 11/7.

BTW, I also don't think the Dead did McGee as an homage to Janis - I'd say there's no connection. Plenty of people were doing it in 1970, and I think Weir just adopted it as a country thing he liked. I'm not sure if Janis even played it in any of her shows in 1970? As JGMF mentioned, Weir was singing it in New Riders sets well before Janis even recorded it.
So, the whole "Janis tribute" thing is bogus!

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Poster: jgmf Date: Jul 29, 2011 6:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Just a Wonderful Show from '71

A great many of the late '71 tapes have bad distortion on the piano to my ears.